Less than two months after Mark Floyd took the reins again as chief executive officer of Exeter Finance Corp., the interim leader used SubPrime Auto Finance News as a conduit to relay a message to dealers already in the subprime auto finance company’s network or stores considering it as a financing source for their retail customers.
After completing a year that included significant changes in how the company functions, Floyd insisted that “a big focus is service to our dealers. The dealers are obviously very important and critical to our success. We’re looking at how we can improve our service to dealers.
“I think our decision times are second to none in the industry,” he continued. “We have a dedicated sales team in the local market that are the face of the organization to our dealer customers. We offer competitive programs.
“But we also know we have areas in which we can improve,” Floyd added. “Those are our top priorities. We want dealers to get the attention they deserve. … That’s where the business begins.”
Floyd’s position with Exeter intensified again back on Dec. 8 when he returned as CEO on an interim basis following the resignation of Tom Anderson. The leadership change came after the finance company completed a major transformation from what Floyd described as “a decentralized branch network to a centralized model.” Now Exeter processes contracts and completes other work from its headquarters in Irving, Texas, along with another facility in Clearfield, Utah.
“That was a very dramatic change for the organization,” Floyd said. “It positions us for the future very well. All the major changes have been done. It’s good to be able to say that. That was a big accomplishment that wasn’t easy. Our team here at every level of the company is really focused and energized and ready to move forward so that’s really good to have that in our rear view mirror.
“Now we’re focused on the task at hand and moving forward,” he went on to say.
Part of moving forward for Exeter is continuing to gather dealer back about its processes and responding accordingly.
“Any change that dramatic is going to get mixed results. My perspective is (dealers) see the benefit of what we’ve done,” Floyd said.
“When you’re going through change that dramatic, a few things fall through the cracks here and there,” he continued. “We try to stay close with the dealers and ask for their honest back. And we all know they’re honest with their back, which is great. We’re taking that back and using it to improve what we have.
“For the change that we went through, I would rate the back as OK. But as you would expect, there are areas where we could have done better and we will do better,” Floyd went on to say.
Floyd is upbeat that not only will Exeter satisfy the dealers already in its network, but that more stores will start to send installment contracts its way.
“There is a universe of dealers where we haven’t even tapped into yet. We have an opportunity to expand our base. That’s part of our focus for 2016,” he said.
Along with his duties with Exeter, Floyd also is the current president of the National Automotive Finance Association. He touched on how the industry in general is functioning during his recent phone conversation with SubPrime Auto Finance News.
“The competition still is behaving rationally. That’s always a good thing for the industry. I continue to see that so it’s very encouraging,” he said.
“I really do believe the industry has learned lessons from the past,” Floyd continued. “There are always going to be some bumps along the way, but everybody’s antenna are up on any changes that might be coming and are responding appropriately. I’m encouraged about what I see and the outlook is very positive.”
Floyd also is quite positive about Exeter’s future now and when another CEO takes over the finance company.
“I couldn’t be more excited about the prospect for Exeter,” he said. “We have a strong capital structure in place and probably the best financial sponsor in the business in Blackstone. We have outstanding bank partners and strong consistent support for our securitization program.
“When I look at the industry, look at our strong capital structure at Exeter, look at the quality of people we have and everybody’s engagement in the business for what we see as the future, all of the pieces are in place for Exeter. It’s a good time to be at Exeter,” Floyd went on to say.